Randy Jackson's Health and Weight Loss Journey: How He Shed 100 Pounds

Taking charge of his well-being. Randy Jackson made a pledge to live a healthier lifestyle after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2002.

“It’s a curse to be saddled with a disease that’s life-threatening and that you can’t completely get rid of, though you can certainly manage it,” the former American Idol judge wrote in his 2008 book, Body With Soul. “But it’s a blessing to get that huge wake-up call. After that day in the ER, when my doctor burst the bubble I’d been living in, I couldn’t lie to myself anymore. Right then and there, I began my journey toward better health.”

Jackson, who weighed 350 pounds at the time of his diagnosis, underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2003, a procedure that reduces the size of the stomach and reroutes part of the digestive system so less food is absorbed. Since having surgery, the bass player has maintained a 100-pound weight loss, but it wasn’t always easy.

In 2008, he told WebMD about the temptations he faced returning to American Idol after the procedure. “After the show, everybody hangs out and eats and drinks. There are all kinds of sandwiches plus chips, cheeses, cookies, cakes, candy, beer, wine,” he said. Despite the abundance of junk food on set, Jackson shared that the other Idol judges were a source of positive encouragement. “Simon [Cowell] is always saying, ‘We are ordering lunch, bring Randy a Dunkin’ Donut and 12 milkshakes.’ We joke about it, but they are also very supportive.”

The record producer isn’t one to completely cut out certain foods — he opts for moderation instead. “Never say, ‘I will never have another piece of chocolate’ because it won’t happen. And as soon as you say never, there is a binge coming,” he told WebMD, adding that he sates his sweet tooth with the occasional chocolate with frozen yogurt.

After getting his health on track, the Journey bassist wanted to help others do the same. He founded Unify Health Labs in 2019 to do just that. In a blog post on the Unify Health Labs website, Jackson said his celebrity status gave him access to health specialists that others might not get to meet.

“I was able to talk with top health experts: physicians, nutritionists, fitness experts, biologists, and more,” the session musician wrote. “They helped me a lot on my journey. And I wanted to share this expertise and information with as many people as possible.”

Jackson added, “Ive truly been blessed by life, but, next to my children, getting healthy was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Scroll through for a look at his health and weight loss journey over the years:

Randy Jackson's Health and Weight Loss Journey: How He Shed 100 Pounds
Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis
Jackson was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2002. After receiving the news, the television personality researched the potential side effects of the disease. “I realized a lot of things that can happen if you don’t manage it, which is why I encourage everyone to do so,” he told Health Magazine in 2012.
Steve Levy/Shutterstock
Randy Jackson's Health and Weight Loss Journey: How He Shed 100 Pounds
Gastric Bypass Surgery
In 2003, the former American Idol judge underwent gastric bypass surgery to help him lose weight. Jackson maintained a 100-pound weight loss after the procedure.
Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock
Randy Jackson's Health and Weight Loss Journey: How He Shed 100 Pounds
Body With Soul
The America’s Best Dance Crew producer published a book in 2008 titled Body With Soul: Shed Pounds, End Diabetes and Transform Your Health. He wrote about his skepticism of fad diets, which he has tried a few himself.
“Diets, liquid fasts, weight-loss medications, you name it, and none of them ever worked for long. But when I wound up in the hospital, I had to face up to why all those methods failed,” Jackson said. That same year, he told WebMD he had also tried “bee stings” and “urine of pregnant women” to lose weight. “The problem is that those diets don’t work for people who have the disease of obesity,” the Louisiana native explained.
Roger L Wollenberg/UPI/Shutterstock
Randy Jackson's Health and Weight Loss Journey: How He Shed 100 Pounds
Unify Health Labs
To fulfill his mission of helping others get healthy, Jackson founded Unify Health Labs in 2019.
“ After going through what I went through … sifting through mountains of conflicting information … I didn’t want other people to have to do that. So we created Unify Health Labs to simplify the process, and make it easy for everyone to pursue the healthiest, happiest life possible,” he explained in a blog post on the company’s website.
Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

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